Two receive full scholarships
Four Mount Carmel School students were recently accepted to attend Junior State of America programs this summer, including two students who received full scholarships.
Jaqueline Doctor, Michael Ortizo, Joshua Santos, and Nathaniel Snodgrass were all accepted to attend, with Doctor and Ortizo earning full scholarships to their respective programs. The four students, all juniors, applied earlier in the year under the supervision of their faculty representative John Del Rosario, a veteran of the JSA program himself.
The Junior State of America is a program that brings high school students to top universities in the U.S.—like Stanford, Princeton, and Georgetown—to take college-level courses relating to politics, from AP Government to speech to macroeconomics. Successful completion of courses typically translates to college credits for students. The program is also an opportunity for students to network with and learn from other like-minded students with interests in politics and government.
Doctor was accepted to attend the program at Princeton University. Doctor said she joined as a way to develop her knowledge of politics and leadership skills. “I want to grow as a person and I feel this is out of my comfort zone,” she said.
Ortizo, who won a full scholarship, was well aware of the field of other applicants throughout the island. “I thought they were pretty slim,” he said of his chances of being awarded one of four full scholarships to the program. He was pleasantly surprised to find out he won.
Santos’ interest in politics started through the political satire of comedians like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. He has been able to find further interest in politics by seeing the inherent politics in his own interests. Santos, an avid video gamer, wrote his qualifying political essay on the violence in video games. “You may think it’s insignificant because it’s just video games, but the attitudes toward violent video games hold a deeper meaning to what the press and politicians tell you about how you’re allowed to have fun,” Santos said.
Snodgrass’ looks to grow in his love of politics, a love that started by simply reading the paper with his grandfather as a kid. “I would always be at my grandpa’s house, so I would read the paper and gain interest in the issues,” Snodgrass said.
Snodgrass and Santos both have started raising funds for their trips.
Doctor and Ortizo follow in the footsteps of their older siblings, Hazel Doctor and Ryan Ortizo (both AlumKnights of ’10). The younger siblings were accepted into the exact same programs that their older siblings attended in 2009.
The four MCS students will join about 10 others from across the CNMI who were also accepted to various JSA programs this summer.